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BJP gathers starry knights,Cong shies under a cloud

If the Congress puts up a display of its star power,can the BJP be far behind?

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
April 17, 2009 2:52:32 am

If the Congress puts up a display of its star power,can the BJP be far behind?

Ready to show off its Bollywood connections,the party has slated the maiden visit of its Rajya Sabha MP and cine actress Hema Malini to the state on Friday.

Starting from Ghaziabad,where she would take part in the filing of party president Rajnath Singh’s nomination papers,the actor will be addressing public meetings in Bulandshahr,Allahabad and Lucknow.

In Ghaziabad,she would accompany former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana,Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

Apart from Hema,actor turned politician and party’s candidate from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar,Shatrughan Sinha will also be campaigning in UP. He would be addressing public meetings in Akbarpur and Kanpur on April 18.

The party’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani will be addressing a public meeting in Lucknow on April 19.

But while the BJP has got its arsenal ready,the Congress camp has been facing a slight hitch.

On three consecutive days,celebrities failed to make their appearance at three public meetings.

On Tuesday,the meeting of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had to be cancelled as she could not come to the city in time. On Wednesday,the meeting of Omar Abdullah had to be cancelled when he decided to leave for Delhi after his chopper could locate the landing spot in Barabanki district.

On Thursday,film director Mahesh Bhatt was scheduled to address a public meeting at the Old City’s Akbari Gate along with actor Sanjay Khan. But neither was able to make it.

Since the Old City has a considerable minority population,the party,at the last moment,decided to send Imran Kidwai,the Chairman of the Minority Cell of the All India Congress Committee to address the meeting. But only a handful of people turned up.

“Whatever has happened in last three days is going against us in the Lucknow constituency. Many people have already expressed their dissatisfaction. We are trying to manage the situation for the coming days,” said a senior leader of the party.

It appears though,that the party has learnt its lesson — it has refrained from announcing the visit of any other national figure for Friday.

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